Gafcon Leadership

Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen

Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen

Chief Executive Officer

Shortly after graduating from the University of Cape Town, South Africa with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management, Gaf and his wife, Pam Gaffen, moved to San Diego. During their first eight years, Gaf built an incredible reputation in the management and construction of real estate development projects. Ultimately, his entrepreneurial spirit took hold in 1987, and Gaf and Pam founded Gafcon to fulfill his vision of assisting owners in delivering complex projects supporting vibrant communities.

Today, Gaf lends his 40 plus years of experience and expertise to the programs and projects Gafcon manages—from once in a lifetime projects like Seaport San Diego and Zizhu Hi-Tech Development in Shanghai, China to our work supporting community capital programs like the City of Santa Monica and San Diego Unified School District. Gaf’s commitment to the local community extends to his service on various boards, including the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, and Wende Museum Advisory Group. He has previously served on the boards of San Diego Taxpayers Association, San Diego Hebrew Homes, San Diego Jewish Federation, the Explorer Charter School, New Americans Immigration Museum and Learning Center, and the University of California, San Diego Cancer Center.

When he’s not at work, you can find Gaf outdoors, staying physically fit by golfing, working out, fly fishing, and bow hunting. His hobbies include collecting tribal art and antique maps, as well as adventure traveling.

Pam Gaffen

Pam Gaffen

Owner

Pam Gaffen, Co-founder of Gafcon and Chair of the Board, plays an integral role in the success and accomplishments of the company. With more than 35 years of industry experience, Pam is involved in the management of Gafcon by overseeing the corporate and operational functions of the Board of Directors, as well as integrating company values and culture across all departments.

Pam’s management experience with construction projects includes the largest shopping mall in Cape Town, South Africa and numerous high-end, custom residences. She redesigned and renovated both the building interior and exterior landscape of Gafcon’s corporate headquarters in San Diego, as well as the interior renovations of the Gafcon offices located in Los Angeles and Orange County. Her vision of the look, feel, and brand for the entire company is reflected in the workspaces she creates, which are a blend of modern aesthetics combined with Gafcon’s vibrant culture and her South African roots. Pam not only provides balance and an exquisite sense of style to the firm, she is key to the unique culture and values of Gafcon.

Pam enjoys cooking, travel, interior and landscape design, and collecting rare African art.

Robin Duveen

Robin Duveen

President & Chief Operating Officer

As President & COO, Robin Duveen is responsible for day-to-day operations, with all departments reporting to him. A construction industry veteran with nearly 30 years of experience in program, project, and construction management, Robin has been a key Gafcon team member since joining the firm in 1998.

One of Robin’s goals is to further strengthen Gafcon’s focus on delivering quality projects for clients. He is known for his strong and productive relationships with owners, architects, contractors, and consultants. He is highly experienced with the management and development of public, educational, residential, and commercial/retail projects.

Prior to joining Gafcon, Robin was a development/project manager for Rabie Property Developers and construction manager for Resnekov & Neilson in his native South Africa. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Cape Tecknikon in Cape Town, South Africa.

Robin enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, exercising, and cycling.

Bryan Benso

Bryan Benso

Chief Development Officer

Bryan Benso has more than 30 years of experience in various fields, including public capital projects, tribal capital projects, master planning, real estate development, real estate LLC transactions, agency negotiations, and numerous other business acumen verticals. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated the critical skills and core competencies to grow an organization with strong internal and external public relationships. He is acting Managing Director of development pursuits for the Development division of Gafcon and as such his role will include identifying, sourcing, performing due diligence feasibility, and strategizing various investment projects. He provides managing partner oversight of all investment projects and the delivery of those projects within target investment metrics. Bryan also offers principal growth support to the Gafcon PM/CM group as well as the development of a corporatewide strategic plan for the future growth and success of Gafcon.

In 1994, Bryan was hired by Gafcon to serve as a Project Manager and in two years he was promoted to Senior Project Manager. In 2001, he was promoted to Director of Operations and in 2003, he was promoted to join the Executive Committee as Corporate Vice President. In 2008, Bryan joined the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians as the Vice President of Planning and Real Estate Development, where he provided owner representation and acted as a liaison between the SMBMI tribal and casino management, design consultants, and contractors on extensive development and investment projects exceeding $2B in value. In 2020, he returned to Gafcon as the Chief Development Officer. He holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign and a Tribal Administration Certification in Tribal Government Management from Clairemont McKenna College. Bryan was honored as a Character Counts recipient by the Public Safety Academy Charter Schools and in 2000 he was awarded Gafcon Project Manager of the Year.

He is an active member of the Lacrosse community serving for the last six years as the President of the Inland Empire Lacrosse Organization which introduces the Inland Empire’s youth to the great sport of Lacrosse.

Paul Najar

Paul Najar

Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Paul Najar is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Gafcon. Prior to joining us, he served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Anacomp Inc., a global document management company for nine years. He was responsible for all legal and administrative affairs including SEC reporting and compliance, M&A, corporate governance, litigation, licensing, real estate, human resources, and risk management. Before joining Anacomp, Paul served as University Attorney for the University of California, Irvine and Corporate Counsel for California Federal Bank.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego. Paul received a joint Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Humanities from the University of California, Irvine and a J.D. from the University of California, Davis.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys international travel, skiing in the Rocky Mountains, and European history.

Marty Glaske

Marty Glaske

Senior Vice President, Client Development

Marty Glaske has been with Gafcon for 18+ years and currently serves as the Senior Vice President, Client Development. Marty holds a Bachelor of Science in Business, and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Organizational Management, as well as multiple executive certificates. Throughout his professional career, Marty has worked for consulting firms, general contractors, and construction managers focusing on all aspects of operations, marketing, and business development.

Marty leverages more than 25 years of experience in the A/E/C industry with both public and private clients to define strategic, forward-thinking goals for the firm. Additionally, he is a member of the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH), The Community College Facilities Coalition (CCFC), and sits on the Board of Directors for the Society for Marketing Professional Services, San Diego (SMPS), Construction Management Association of America, San Diego (CMAA) and the Business Development Association– Inland Empire Chapter. Marty was the 2006 Gafcon Employee of the Year,  the 2017 Public Works Advocate of the year awardee presented by the San Diego/Imperial County Chapter of the American Public Works Association, and the 2022 Presidents Special Service Award Winner for CMAA San Diego.

Marty’s hobbies include fly fishing, golf, and travel with his wife.

Ron Takaki

Ron Takaki

Vice President, Project Operations

Ron Takaki has more than 40 years of experience in the A/E/C industry and has led architectural, engineering and construction teams on large, complex project designs for a wide range of project types, including commercial, educational, hospitality, entertainment, healthcare, governmental, and residential markets. At Gafcon, Ron oversees the development, standardization, and integration of best practices for project and construction management. His goal is to make certain every member of our project teams have access to the knowledge, skills, staff, and technology to provide our clients with the highest level of services.

Ron is passionate regarding sustainable design and is a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design & Construction (LEED® AP BD&C). He is a California licensed Architect and has been a member of AIA since 1980. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, as well as certificates from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and industry certifications from the U.S. Army® Corps of Engineers as a Certified Quality Manager for Construction (CQM-C) and is a registered Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Evaluator with the California Office of Emergency Services.

Ron has been a guest speaker at the Graduate School of Design at Stanford University and the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the Anderson School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles. He is a member of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and has also served as a member of the Archdiocesan Building Commission with the Archdiocese Los Angeles.

Ron’s work on The Forum in Inglewood, CA garnered a win at the CMAA awards in 2015, as well as a preservation award from the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Westside Prize from the Urban Design Forum.

Outside of his professional life, Ron enjoys traveling, cooking, listening to music, playing golf, and is an aspiring winemaker.

Fred Parker

Fred Parker

Vice President, PM/CM Public

Fred Parker has an extensive background of more than 26 years in program, construction, and project management for projects both locally and internationally. He joined Gafcon as a Program Manager overseeing the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District bond work. He has leveraged his expertise in the delivery of complex projects exceeding $4B in cost, as well as experience working with DSA and achieving sustainability and green project goals.

His current responsibilities include managing field operations company-wide, ensuring the right resources are deployed to our projects, assuring programs and projects are delivered the Gafcon Way (systems, processes, procedures, and tribal values), and building upon existing and new client relationships. Fred is also responsible for leading Gafcollege: our internal continuing education program designed to continuously improve our leadership skills, knowledge base, and incorporate emerging technologies and trends.

Prior to joining Gafcon, Fred worked for some of the world’s largest construction contractors including Balfour Beatty, Turner Construction, AECOM, and Jacobs. Fred studied structural engineering but switched his major to business and accounting and holds a Master of Business Administration.

Fred has the operational expertise necessary to lead our field operations teams to successfully deliver large, complex programs and projects. He excels in unifying project teams to achieve the focused goals of our clients and has a holistic approach to successful construction management that enables him to focus on details while understanding how they affect the whole project. He is a proven problem solver, consistently seeking opportunities to improve operational efficiencies.

When he’s not at work, you can find Fred supporting charity events, reading, playing golf, or making music on the piano.

Heather Skaife

Heather Skaife

Director, PM/CM Private

Heather Skaife is the Director of PM/CM Private at Gafcon Inc. She has worked in the construction field for over 17 years in various roles including Project Executive and Director of Operations. Heather has worked in various market sectors throughout her career, managing both public and private projects in general contractor, developer,  and owner representative capacities. In previous roles, Heather has served as a Program Director and Director of Operations overseeing project teams and all phases of large-scale construction and development programs.

Heather holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from the University of Alaska and a Master of Science in Executive Construction Management from Northwestern University. Heather is Design Build Institute of America certified. Active in the community, she serves as Board Secretary for the Construction Management Association of America San Diego Chapter and as Chair for their Student Outreach Committee, as well as being a CMAA Foundation Board Member. Additionally, Heather is active in California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) and Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC).

In her personal time, Heather enjoys reading, cooking with her husband, and watching her son play travel baseball.

Craig Dutoit

Craig Dutoit

Director of Finance

Craig Dutoit has more than 22 years of experience in finance and operations. He studied at the Insurance Institute of South Africa and obtained his Six Sigma green belt certification while working in the U.S.

Craig has a variety of experience in different industries including insurance and risk management, utility solutions, software services, information technology consulting and engineering, as well as the pet sector where he was a Lead Business Analyst at Petco. He joined Gafcon’s accounting team in 2013 as the Project Accounting and Analysis Manager and was promoted in 2016 to Director of Finance. During his tenure with Gafcon, he has created several financial models and oversees budgeting, forecasting, key performance indicators, and all areas of financial analysis for the company. He prepares short and long-term financial forecasts and projections for financial performance reviews.

Craig enjoys spending time outdoors with his family on weekends and is a proud father of three boys and a little girl. He believes that life is a journey and not a destination—enjoy the ride!

Craig Hills

Craig Hills

Director of Information Technology

Craig Hills has more than 20 years of information technology (IT) Management and leadership experience building scalable, reliable, and secure infrastructure. He started his career in the United Kingdom at Sequent Computer Systems and IBM as a hardware engineer supporting Symmetry and NUMA-Q. After moving to the U.S., Craig held various IT leadership roles at several startups.

Craig has worked within the telecom industry, supporting one of the largest outbound call centers in Southern California. He has also provided the technology vision and strategy for an experiential retail startup as it grew from 20 to 650 employees in five years and expanded operations into three time zones.

In his spare time Craig enjoys making music, hiking, and international travel.

Lizette Rodriguez

Lizette Rodriguez

Director of Labor Relations

Lizette Rodriguez is the Director of Labor Relations and the Labor Relations Business Line Leader at Gafcon, Inc. She has extensive experience in all areas of contract compliance monitoring, auditing, and the enforcement of applicable rules and regulations for state and federally funded projects. She has been with Gafcon for more than 10 years working with contractors, subcontractors, and organized labor representatives in resolving challenging compliance issues.

Lizette has participated in and facilitated various public works and labor compliance training classes sponsored by the Department of Industrial Relations, the Department of Labor, the Division of Apprenticeship Standards, the County of San Diego, and other labor organizations throughout the State of California. She is an expert matter speaker for several organizations and teaches complimentary Labor Compliance courses. Lizette is on the Barrio Logan “Building a Community Vision” team and was a part of a mentor protégé program focused on enhancing growth and opportunities for small local businesses.

Lizette received an Associates in Paralegal Studies and is a licensed paralegal with six years’ experience in workers compensation and civil ligation practices. She is involved in a variety of organizations including the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH), Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC), and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) San Diego.

Outside of work, Lizette enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, exercising, cooking authentic Mexican food, and tropical traveling.

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